The good... Ms. H came over the other day last week as part of our daily routines. Last week was also the final days of the regular school year. She was already looking ahead for ideas of how to keep herself and her 6 year old son occupied during the summer break and signed him up for Tae-kwon-do and swimming lessons.
Well, my ears went into alert mode and I wondered if maybe Puppy might be interested in swimming lessons, too. So, interested or not, I called up the instructor and briefly informed her he has autism and she was willing to give it a try. That's all I needed and signed him up. Ms. H has been doing a fantastic job of watching over him in the afternoons, picking him up at my parents' after the school bus drops him off from summer school, then taking him to swimming lessons, then keeping him at her place until I get out of work. Routine is in place and all is well...so far.
The bad... Puppy spent about an hour on Sunday at our neighbor's. Their family consists of the dad, mom, two boys and a girl, all younger than Puppy. But nonetheless, he went over like he usually does every once in a blue moon. Well he comes back and is very quiet, greets me and races upstairs to his bedroom. He was awfully quiet for a good while before coming back downstairs and then he started pacing. He looked for a piece of paper and pencil (but a purple crayon did just fine), brought it over to me and asked, “How do you write present?” I spelled it for him and he wrote it down then walked away. I thought to myself that he may be making a list of gifts he wants for his birthday next month. So he’s pacing and then stops next to me again. He asked me if he can show me something, and I say yes. He pulls out the piece of paper and hands it to me.
I read it and I ask him if that’s the present he wants. He whispers to me, “No mom, that’s what Mr. Segovia gave me. It’s old and he doesn’t want it, he has a new one.” I could feel my blood drain to my feet. And strangely it went rising right back up to my head in anger. But I wasn’t sure whom to be angry with, Mr. Segovia for giving Puppy something he likes or Puppy for taking it when he clearly knows he shouldn’t have one. It wasn’t easy to defend Puppy because clearly our neighbor didn’t know giving him a wallet was a no-no.
The ugly… Well, every day since the first day of swimming lessons, Puppy says he doesn’t want to go swimming. But then Ms. H talks to him and convinces him to go and he does just fine. The other ugly is the unnecessary debates we have on a daily basis both in the morning before school and in the evenings when I pick him up. Debates about why his teacher doesn’t allow him to carry anything in his pockets; about why he can’t go buy the wallet he really wants now and not wait for his birthday; about why he can’t have an itouch/ipod, everyone else has one; about why he can’t take the wallet the neighbor gave him to school; about why he doesn’t like his MP3 player so much anymore, etc., etc…
It’s not so pretty. I get headaches. I search for answers. I find none. I take it one day at a time.